September 3, 2012

State Roundup, September 3, 2012

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IF SURPLUS, WHY TAX HIKE? Aaron Davis of the Post reports that three months after Maryland lawmakers raised taxes on the wealthy, saying the money was urgently needed for classrooms, surging revenue from other areas has left the state with a surplus, prompting a fight about whether the tax increase was needed at all.

O’MALLEY BUSY IN CHARLOTTE: Gov. Martin O’Malley will be a busy man at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this week, reports John Wagner of the Post. His aides have set up scores of interviews and booked him to speak to several state delegations, including all-important Iowa. He could very well land a coveted prime-time spot addressing the convention.

IN CHARLOTTE, SORT OF: Len Lazarick of MarylandReporter.com, reporting from the Democratic National Convention, writes that yesterday, as he was trying to navigate Charlotte to pick up his press credentials, the ratio of road blocks and police to civilians was daunting, given that the DNC is touting the convention as “open and accessible.”

Scott Wykoff of WBAL-AM reports on the Maryland delegation’s arrival in Charlotte. Scroll down his story, past the photos on the right, to hear five short reports from Wykoff, including an interview with Gov. Martin O’Malley.

VAN HOLLEN VS RYAN: Even as he campaigns for re-election to Congress, Rep. Chris Van Hollen has been tapped by the Obama campaign to help lead the Democratic rebuttal to Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan — a role that is taking him to battleground states around the nation, writes Matthew Hay Brown for the Sun.

O’MALLEY KICKING ON TV: Gov. O’Malley came out swinging on Face the Nation yesterday, saying, “There were three things that you didn’t see at the Republican convention. You didn’t see any new ideas for creating jobs, you didn’t see George Bush, and you didn’t see Mitt Romney’s tax returns.” John Wagner blogs about the show for the Post.

John Fritze of the Sun writes that Republicans are jumping on O’Malley’s answer to a question posed to him on CBS today: Do you believe people are better off than they were four years ago? “No, but that’s not the question of this election,” O’Malley said on the show. “The question, without a doubt, we are not as well off as we were before George Bush brought us the Bush job losses, the Bush recession, the Bush deficits, the series of desert wars charged for the first time to the national credit card.”

The presidential election will remain close until the “final decision window” because voters are dissatisfied with the economy, O’Malley predicted on CNN’s State of the Union yesterday, writes John Fritze in the Sun. But, he said, voters will ultimately reelect President Barack Obama rather than return to Republican policies.

David Eldridge and Tim Devaney of the Washington Times report that, concerning the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this week, O’Malley said on CNN, “This is not the time to wave pompoms. This is a time to dig deep and move forward and not go back to those disastrous policies that landed us in this economic problem to begin with.”

POLITICAL DONATIONS: Authorities are investigating whether officials with Maryland Live! failed to sufficiently disclose political campaign contributions, a violation of state law that can lead to fines and imprisonment, writes Tim Prudente of the Capital-Gazette.

BARTLETT & ABORTION: Bethany Rodgers of the Frederick News-Post writes that U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett does not believe his congressional voting record conflicts with his view that abortion should be permissible in cases of rape, incest or danger to the mother’s life.

PRAYER GETS THUMBS UP: Allegany County Commission President Mike McKay’s prayer at the opening of commission meetings has received a vote of confidence from a local historical organization who said there is a war against the Christian and Jewish faiths, reports Matthew Bieniek for the Cumberland Times News.

TOWER MAY BE IN PERIL: Tony Russo of the Easton Star Democrat writes that the air traffic control tower at Easton Airport may be one of the victims of last year’s congressional budget deal, and Congress’ inability to reach agreement on taxes and spending since.

GAP IN CARROLL: Columnist Bill Kennedy of the Carroll County Times writes that Carroll’s government under the “leadership” of commissioners Robin Frazier and Richard Rothschild have again shown which portion of their constituency matters most to them. The recent decision to suspend the collection of the impact fees dedicated to school construction shows that the home building industry is more important to them than preserving open space and farmland.